Chanel famously once said that women should have ropes of pearls. Ropes of pearls. The phrase immediately inflames my imagination, conjuring up abundance and drama. Who doesn’t want to feel that from an outfit? And how to get there? Chanel explained her meaning by example, wearing multitudes of pearls to give consequence and chic to a simple look. Layering jewels in this way always elevates an outfit, granting elegance to a little black dress and making a simple sweater into something far more intriguing. The latter look is the one I particularly wanted to explore – Chanel’s ease, translated into the more casual style of today. A bold jewlery look like this makes a strong statement that can be highlighted by setting it against a minimalist backdrop. Despite that, subtle variations can give the same theme slightly different vibes. The basic pieces are ridic easy: black sweater, blue denim. But exactly which black sweater? A chunky, slouchy version gives this look a street-style cool-girl vibe, especially when paired with cuffed boy jeans. A refined cable iteration creates classic chic that's enhanced by combining it with straight denim. Toss a button-down underneath for an extra touch of polish. A strong-shouldered or blouson-sleeved piece conveys sophistication and modern femininity when matched with slim or skinny jeans. Pick your passion...or try out all three ;).
Ok, now the crucial (and mad fun!) part: pearls -and tons of them! Grab whatever you have - the more lengths, the better! Combining multiple millimeter sizes is a definite yes. Mix it up: throw on one opera-length piece at full length, double or triple another...or two. Try a collar, a 24" piece and a 36" piece layered together. Include necklaces with pearls set in stations, and/or with chain in between. These designs are especially good for counteracting the formal aspect of pearls and giving a jaunty attitude to a look, so I love them with the chunky sweater/boy jean iteration. If you don't have such a piece, np - just layer in a long plain chain (you can also twist it around a pearl necklace of similar length) or a couple shorter ones in a matching metal. The striking gesture of multiple layers is enough to spice up the classic cable sweater, but feel free to throw in another twist by using multiple colors of pearls, or creating the look of a pendant by putting a knot in a long pearl strand (36" or longer will work). Ditto for the feminine piece with sleeve or shoulder details. Alternatively, play up the vintage vibe or add a dash of glam by pinning a pearl, metal or crystal brooch among your layered necklaces. Cement the vibe of each variation with your shoe choice: black ankle booties with the chunky sweater, classy pointed flats with the cable, simple black pumps with the ladylike piece. I hope this inspires you to try turning Chanel's phrase into your outfit of the day (or dayS :)) sometime soon! XO
There are few things more classic than an LBD topped with a glamorous statement necklace and finished with little black pumps. It’s just the kind of look to recreate if you’re a fan of classic style. Then again, I suspect few of us have even the slightest of reasons to be strolling up 5th Avenue at dawn in an evening gown…which doesn’t at all mean we shouldn’t give that a try sometime :). But it does lead one to wonder if maybe the vibe couldn’t be re-imagined via a somewhat more accessible pathway for the daily lives of the non-Holly-Golightlys of us. Result of wonderings: I think it can. How? With the end goal of retaining the sophisticated vibe of the Little Black Outfit, but in a less fancy way, I metamorphosized the classic LBD into a more versatile pairing of a slim cable sweater and wide leg pants. The movement of the wide, straight legs carries an ineffable chic that elevates simple pairings, while offering more freedom than a long gown. From there, it's the accessories that make this look. I chose a pearl torsade as a subtle homage to the Tiffany statement necklace and added a crystal collar for a bit more oomph. The simple canvas of the black monochrome pieces can balance out a super bold choice like this. Next, I tossed in a shot of trend in the form of white accessories: a white belt (which could be optional or exchanged for a black one) and white ankle booties. Black booties or pumps could 100% work, but I loved the crispness and au courant feeling of the bright white. The booties also serve as one more way to bring the look more toward the casual side. I finished the styling with a simple, but sleek up-do, or half up-do. Oversize sunnies are encouraged as well :).
I tend to forget about wearing dresses for non-fancy occasions in the winter…until this time in the season when I start to get really, extremely...ok *excruciatingly*!... bored with pants. With a couple of underlayers, non-pant pieces can be just as comfy and warm and they make such a refreshing alternative to suit pants, denim and leggings. The key is longer pieces that you can hide warm layers beneath. Leggings and thermal tights under long skirts and dresses are The. Best. Invention. I love the flowy, enchanted, 70’s vibe of this ruffle-trimmed maxi. And the glowing scarlet shade makes you feel warmer just looking at it, doesn’t it? Imagine actually wearing it! If you’re not into full-on intense color, never fear – just do it with accessories instead of the (a) main piece(s). I love wearing lace-accented pieces under v-necks; it adds an extra dimension to the dress, whether minimal or embellished, and it gives it a different feel than wearing it alone. Sleeveless pieces can work with this application too – just add a collared long-sleeved blouse underneath. Hint: dress down fancier neutrals by layering a flannel shirt below and get warmth and winterizing in one smooth choice. I love getting fancy dresses to do double duty via this kind of styling! PS if you don’t have a dress that works, you can achieve a similar look with a blouse and maxi skirt. Matching colors will give the look of a dress, but aren’t crucial to the styling’s success. Food for thought: if you happen to be using a blouse with lace or open-work, choosing a colored underlayer instead of a matching one is a stunning way to highlight the pattern. Add extra warmth and dress down the look by topping the ensemble with a jacket. The 70’s-referencing peacoat is a fab choice (I went with a faux fur version, but a wool piece works just as nicely). Alternatively, reach for a boxy jacket at hip length or slightly cropped. Again, faux fur works, but moto, military and aviator styles in nearly any fabric (velvet, corduroy, cotton, leather, even polished fleece or Sherpa pieces) will all do flawlessly. Got none of those? No prob –reach for a classic denim piece. Complete the styling with flat OTKs that act as one more warm layer (aside: knee-height and mid-calf boots are totally do-able as well!). Since we’re keeping this look on the not-too-fancy side, jewelry can be minimal – statement earrings or a ring, a tiny pendant…or none at all :). Happy styling!
So, since the various cute and furry rodents whose opinions were sought regarding the continuance of cold weather all seem to agree we’re not getting out the woods just yet, I’ve been busy creating a few more cozy options to have on standby. I’ve had this look in my head for awhile and this seems the time to get it out of my head :). Calling all you fashionistas who have a metallic sweater hanging around in the bowels of your closet: let’s give that baby some daylight, shall we? (If you are living sans metallic sweaters, consider a metallic button-down, a crushed velvet blouse or cami or a sequined piece here). Give the look some chill vibes by pairing it with cuffed boyfriend jeans (skinnies totally work too, so don’t stress over silhouette). Top the metallic with a long cardigan for extra warmth (and to pick up on that whole duster/long topper trend). I love the pairing of blush with pale blue denim, but really, it’s open season for color palettes with this look. Classic neutrals work (black and gold, navy and silver). Not-so-classic neutrals work (olive and gold, sage and silver). Brights work. So start with what ya got and go from there. Whatever denim style you choose, cuff it if it’s full- length and make sure it stops above where the boot shaft narrows, or above where your leg shows over the top of of the shaft. Tucking skinny jeans into mid-calf boots is totally an option as well (shoutout to slouch boots here, if ya got ‘em :)). My first thought for completing this look was gray suede ankle booties, but if you’re proud possessor of a pair of metallic silver ones, this would be a perfect spot to try out that trend. Don’t shy away from black boots as an option either. Tie the darker color in to the look by adding a short pendant or choker on a black satin or velvet cord. Metallic heels are a flawless choice as well. Feel free to add statement earrings (coordinate with your sweater or the metallic) or a selection of band rings if the spirit moves you. If a chunky knit scarf calls to you on your way out the door , heed it – cozy is a good thing! Cozy and stylish is an even better thing :), so rock that scarf-age. Happy cold-weather styling, loves!
It took me a long time to realize how perfect skirts are for cold weather – I always thought of them as comfies for summer due to being way cooler (literally cooler, as opposed to “so cool” cooler) than pants. But lately, I figured out that they’re actually cold weather comfies too because you can layer leggings or tights underneath. Score! ;) Start with either of those that suits you and add an underlayer on top as well. Then grab whichever of your maxi skirts is calling to you at the moment: solids, graphic prints, florals – they all work. Most fabrics will too: knits, wool, lace and tulle = fab. The only ones you want to avoid are fabrics that are particularly warm-weather materials: crinkled pieces, seersucker, linen. Add a cropped sweater, or use a longer silhouette and blouson it. Finally, top it off with a jacket. Reach for something with a casual vibe –think a classic leather or denim piece, or a moto or military style. The relaxed feel is important to offset the fancier connotation of the skirt so you can complete the look with flat boots. Any pair with a shaft that’s higher than the skirt hem will work nicely. I especially love the secret fierceness (and partial extra layer! :)) of OTK boots. This concept can be applied to midi skirts as well. Consider pairing a denim or pleated piece with a body-skimming turtleneck for a chic 70’s-referencing look. (The same base layers described above can apply here too). Add an unexpected twist via an interesting belt: add leopard to a camel and denim look, black leather to a shimmering pleated satin piece or a bright contrasting color (echo it with statement earrings, a massive ring or your lip shade). Again, complete the look with boots (heeled is my preference with midi hems, but flats will work too), making sure that the shaft is higher than the skirt’s hem. For an extra layer of warmth, drape a wrap or long scarf around your neck (or toss it over one shoulder) and tuck it under the belt – it’s one of my favorite tricks for creating a super-warm outfit! Alternatively, skip the scarf and belt and throw on a faux fur jacket for a cozy and fun (and totally pet-able!) variation. Happy styling, loves!
One of my favorite ways to block out chilly weather is with down! It’s the warmest material I’ve ever found for outerwear and wonderfully lightweight. It’s the perfect topper to wear when you don’t want to do forty pieces below to feel warm. A short jacket has a sporty vibe. I love using one in a bright color; it’s a total mood-lifter! Try magenta, coral, warm blush, turquoise or lime over a neutral look. Use it in the same way you would a bomber and toss it over your outfit open, or wear it half-zipped. Play up the athleisure feel with track pants below and a chunky cropped sweater or refined sweatshirt. The crucial styling trick is to make sure you define your waist somehow, either via the cropped piece, a blouson silhouette or a half-tuck. Pair with bright sneakers, or elevate this casual look with pointy-toe ankle booties. So easy, so unconcernedly cool! Alternatively, go for a sleeker jacket silhouette: a parka or car-coat length piece. Many designs include princess seams or a self-belt for shape, which creates extra polish. Stay toasty but unencumbered below with a button-down tunic (plaids are fabulous this time of year! The multitude of colors creates so many possibilities for pairings) and leggings. Rock the shorter-layer-on-top look by adding a pullover sweater or sweatshirt above. You’re looking for a piece that hits anywhere between your natural waist and an inch or two above the tunic hem. Choose a coordinating color above (don’t be afraid to pull out one of the more obscure shades in the plaid) or use a bridge shade that’s between two of the colors in the plaid. For example, if your plaid is burgundy and blue, try a purple piece. If your tunic is a solid, add a(nother :)) bright shade. Experiment with it and have fun!). A laidback look like this is a great place to try exuberant color schemes because you don’t need the formality or sophistication neutral or dark tones provide. Complete the look with flat or low-heeled hiking boots (higher heels are fine too, just make sure the styling is a less formal type – hikers, moto, combat silhouettes). PS I’ve gone with neutral boots here, but if you have, say, burgundy velvet hikers or blue suede combat boots, def feel free to break those out :). Happy cozy styling!
In the winter, the gray days can make it easy to get bored and settle into a humdum routine of looks that are more comfortable than anything else. It’s so simple: grab a couple of black basics, stick them together and you’re good. But I also find that I feel better and happier when I have on a look that I really enjoy wearing…and there are plenty of ways to be both cute and cozy during the chilly weather!
One of my recent favorites is playing with bright colors – partly through the influence of Sea of Shoes :). Combining colors in a look is totally doable and Jane does it better than almost anyone. A less daunting approach is to go for a single-color-family compilation that incorporates different shades in the same genre. Blue is always the first color I think of because blue jeans instantly solve the “omg-I-don’t-really-have-that-many-colored-pants” conundrum. Red is a close second. What I love about this look is that you don’t have to worry about matching; if you get enough shades of blue together, the sheer numbers will allow for bridge hues that let everything blend. So, grab your favorite, comfiest pair of blue denim. Slim, wide, flared; silhouette matters not. This look is all about the color! If they’re a year or three old and are full length, no sweat: cuffed is all the rage right now, so just roll your own ;). If you’re craving extra warmth, add a pair of leggings below and cuff them to just a smidge shorter than your pants. Add a blue chunky sweater; oversize is fab, cropped is stellar. For warmth, I add a light but warm base layer. My favorite is the 200 weight Siren tee from Icebreaker, but a thermal Henley or even a basic cotton tee will do nicely. Next: footwear! Add a piece of statement jewelry for a shot of chic: statement earrings, a long pendant, a massive ring (or collection of slim ones!). Alternatively, toss a blue wrap over your shoulders or knot a scarf at your neck for visual interest and a little extra warmth. Finish with blue pointy pumps, or suede ankle booties (neutrals are a 100% acceptable alternative if you a colored-footwear-free atm). Let slim pants rest on the top of slim boots, or cuff them to just above the top of the shaft. Cuff wide or flared pants to one inch above the shaft for wider-style boots, or to just above or even with the narrowest part of the shaft of narrow boots. The key is to make sure there’s a defined slimmer area between the base of your jeans and your ankle, whether it is your bare ankle or boot-covered ankle :). Don’t forget about adding a blue bag, or blue leather glove (again, think neutrals if you don’t have blue pieces in that genre). I hope this inspires you to try all-blue-everything (or all any-color everything!) sometime soon :) Happy styling!
More cute and cozy looks coming up next!
Periodically, I get obsessed with the aesthetic of a certain brand. It gets burned in my brain and I can’t stop thinking about it. Right now, it’s Dolce and Gabbana (because I can’t resist a good movie reference, I feel it necessary to add: “Okay. Can you please spell Gabbana?” :)). It probably has something to do with the time of year – after the high of the holidays, I have to face up to the dreary reality of winter and I instinctively gravitate toward a fashion philosophy that helps me through. Some years, it’s comfort: autumnal palettes and boots everywhere. This year, it’s bright shades and an insouciant mix of patterns that seems to speak of spring and renewal just ahead. Dolce and Gabbana incorporates saturated colors constantly via their references to quintessential Italian themes. Dressing head to toe in D & G just feels ecstatic and sun-drenched. Of course, I generally only do that in fitting rooms because spending three grand on one outfit isn’t in my budget at this precise moment in time :). So, how do you get that Dolce vibe sans Dolce? When browsing through their recent collections, certain elements stand out, in addition to the color, as common: lace, jewels, flowers, prints – all pretty accessible items. Would you think to combine them? I generally wouldn’t, until this latest obsession began. Now, it’s a must try kind of thing! What do you have in your closet right now? A lace pencil skirt? Fab. A floral blouse? Perfection. Start there. I went with a lace blouse. Add other pieces that fit the theme: a printed or embroidered blouse to the lace skirt, clean, bright blue denim to the floral blouse. Add statement crystal jewelry to get that shot of glamour – but keep it lighthearted by using contrasting colors. Add bright blue or yellow to red and navy, blush to eggplant, amethyst and lilac to deep green. Since my lace blouse is sheer, I layered a mustard cami below and topped it with two crystal necklaces, one golden and blush, one plum and lilac. Don’t be afraid to layer more delicate pieces to get a stronger effect. Throw in some floral jewelry if you have it, or add a floral scarf or belt at your waist in tones that coordinate with your jewels and shoes. Ah – shoes! :) I always love getting to the shoes. Complete with the look with more color –coordinating, but not matching. Add cobalt to red, navy and cerulean or cerise to pine and plum, golden yellow or burgundy to blush and eggplant. I went with purple suede pumps – the luxurious feel of suede (or velvet works too!) just underscores the abundant vibe of this aesthetic. Consider lace or floral heels and crystal-embellished pumps as well (satin def allowed!). Don’t forget about mary-janes either – they became a D & G trademark a couple seasons ago, so a neutral version is another flawless way to complete this styling. I hope this inspires you to try out a Dolce & Gabbana-inspired look sometime soon! Happy styling,loves :)
Got your New Year’s Eve outfit all planned and laid out? Or do you need a little more inspiration? I have been in the latter category, but I spent some time re-charging my style batteries and the fruits of my labor (or restoration? Hmm) are now here for the sharing :). So often, New Year’s is about full-on glitz and glam, all the stops, over the top, glitter bomb. But this year, I’ve been attracted to subtler versions of shine.
A classic red dress always makes a great option for the holidays..actually, for a lot of days ;). If you have one, consider going for this eye-cathcing and super-trendy shade. Add a hint of shine via statement earrings and a sparkling belt. I love crystal-encrusted ones, or centrally-embellished pieces. You can DIY the latter type by adding a brooch to any leather belt you have that’s narrower than the pin length. Finish with simple black flats in a luxe material like suede or velvet. (Don’t shy away from crystal-embellished ones if you have some that are calling you :) ).
Nothing says opulence like the pairing of black with metallic, especially metallic gold. Pair a slim tee or sweater with leggings and top with along cardigan. Add formality to the look with a wide, metallic waist belt and coordinating pumps. Complete the look with statement earrings in a similar hue, and a metallic bag (black makes a classic alternative). PS if you have several rose gold accessories, the blush-metallic tone makes a stunning alternative to traditional gold.
For an even more subtle sheen, reach for the soft glow of velvet via a jewel tone blazer. Get a 70’s vibe going by layering it over a floral blouse, and then add a modern twist by pairing it with skinny denim. Finish with au courant velvet ankle booties, or always-appropriate black suede. If it’s too warm where you live for a blazer (I’m jealous!), do this look with a velvet blouse instead.
If you’re feeling totally cool girl this year, pair a glittering sequin or lamé tank/cami with cropped denim (frayed and high-low hems 100% acceptable!). Top the look with an on-trend Teddy or faux fur coat – I’ve done a classic neutral, but if you own a fun color, definitely feel free to break it out for this look! Complete the ensemble with heeled sandals or pumps in a coordinating metallic, matching sequins, embellished neutral or simple but luxe satin.
Finally, consider letting a shimmering blouse make your statement this NYE. Pieces ranging from all-out lame to subtle incorporations of metallic threads to metallic embroidered details can all work. Throw in a dash of the punk trend by pairing it with hardware-embellished slim pants or leggings and studded flat boots. Top with a cotton biker jacket or leather moto jacket for a bit more edge and extra layer of warmth.
Happy New Year’s Eve styling,loves and best wishes for 2018! (It can’t really already be almost 2018, can it?)
Need a little inspiration for what to wear for this holiday season's round of social engagements? Can do, loves! Grab a beverage and settle in for a fierce little lookbook of what’s on our radar right now.
It’s tough to go wrong with a little black dress. When your fashion brain has the style version of writer’s block, it’s a great place to start, when you do a cozy turtleneck sweater version or an on-trend flared-sleeve silhouette. For the holidays, spike this classic with statement shoes. Sequins and crystal naturally come to mind and work flawlessly, but don’t forget about floral-embellished pairs or the luxe jacquard fabrics that are rocking the fashion world right now. They’re unexpected, gorgeous and an opulent take on the outfit-making shoe concept. Add an extra bit of glitter via your jewels – light-catching jet beads in a long pendant, crystal statement earrings or a go-big-or-go-home ring.
It’s hard to get me away from flannel during the cold weather. It just feels inviting! This year, add blue or black denim for a casual vibe and then kick up the fanciness quotient with a velvet blazer. I especially love this combo of black over red – the black grounds the bright color and makes the look breezily chic. Throw a little extra trend into the mix by going with pearl-embellished denim if you’ve gone to that oh-so-yummy place. (If you haven’t yet, but want to dip your toe in, add a pearl brooch or two to your pockets, belt loop(s) and/or cuffs). Leave the top two buttons undone on your blouse (three or four if you do a fancy cami below – think velvet, satin, lace-embellished) and add a pearl choker. Or, do a pearl statement ring. Finish with velvet pumps (suede will do nicely as well) or fun flats with tassels, embroidery or faux fur pom poms. I adore sparkle, but it can sometimes get overwhelming this time of year. This look is festive without being super-shiny, which makes it refreshing.
This year has seen a resurgence of the duster coat and it’s a glamorous look to wear to a holiday event! The swirl of a long coat always has a powerful magic to it. Consider pieces in velvet (I love corduroy as an alternative, too!) satin or suede. Layer them over a simple neutral turtleneck and denim (distressing allowed, if your occasion is casual enough :)). Bring some fierce to the look with OTK boots and add a sprinkling of statement gems to elevate the ensemble for night-out events. A formal bag – velvet, sequins, metallic – completes the casual opulence.
Brie (Hi!) More re: me under About. I'm the moving spirit behind this little life-meets-fashion fairy tale world, the home of my non-wrestling-related style musings and loves.